CARROLL, Iowa — One COVID-19 vaccination clinic got canceled Tuesday because of the state’s temporary halt of immunizations of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. And a second clinic had hundreds of appointments for the Moderna vaccine that remained unfilled.
Manning Pharmacy planned to host a vaccination clinic with 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Kerkhoff Family Shelter House Tuesday. But providers canceled the clinic after the Iowa Department of Public Health sent out a notice that the state was pausing immunizations with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following reports that six women out of the nearly 7 million Americans vaccinated had suffered rare but serious blood clots following immunization. Although, health officials had not determined if the vaccine caused the blood clots.
Message from Iowa Department of Public Health Tuesday morning:
With the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this morning, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has advised that all Iowa vaccine providers pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until more details are confirmed.
The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.
“Some people may back away (from getting vaccinated) from the news that came out,” said Sara Schulte, Carroll County Public Health Nurse, “But we need to remember it’s been six people.”
Schulte said that she did not see an immediate switch from those signed up from the canceled Manning clinic with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to move to a 1,000-person clinic scheduled for Thursday at Westgate Mall in Carroll that will use Moderna’s vaccine.
“I think a lot of people who were scheduled there (in Manning) are still waiting for it because that’s what they want,” Schulte said of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires one dose, instead of the two doses that Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines require.
Schulte said that by mid-afternoon, 854 of the 1,000 appointments for the Carroll clinic remained unfilled, a much slower process that the county’s previous mass vaccination clinics. “I think right now people have gone other places to get their vaccine,” Schulte said.
And those that haven’t yet sought one, she believes, may either not want to get immunized or aren’t sure they will yet. “I think we are coming down to those people and basically what we need to do is just make sure that we’re getting the right information out there for the people who are on the fence so they can make an informed decision whether or not to get the vaccine.”
The state health department’s website shows that 555 people have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of the nearly 10,000 vaccine doses administered in Carroll County and nearly 84,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine of the nearly 1.9 million total vaccine doses given out in Iowa.